Listen To Chapters Four And Five Of 'The Dog Stars'
Set in the Rocky Mountains after an epidemic has killed off most of society, The Dog Stars, by outdoor-adventure writer Peter Heller, casts an unusual mood as it alternates between elegiac reflection, lyrical nature writing and intense, high-caliber action. In a world where isolated survivors must fend off attacks from marauding bands, our heroes are an odd couple whose complementary skills have, so far, kept them alive. Hig, an amateur pilot, maintains the perimeter, flying patrols in his Cessna with Jasper, his dog, as co-pilot.
This next story is for people who go for old-school technology. If you're the kind of person who owns a tube television - not one of those flat screens - nothing wrong with that. Or maybe you're the kind of person who has an old Walkman with cassette tapes hiding in a drawer somewhere. Maybe you even still use it. And if you're holding on to technology that others have deemed obsolete, you are not alone.
Reporter Tracey Samuelson found some dated devices in a place that might surprise you.
And the nation's homebuilders are feeling more optimistic than they have since March, 2007, just before the beginning of the Great Recession. What's more, the National Association of Home Builders' Housing Market Index has posted its largest one month gain in roughly a decade.
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: David Crowe, the chief economist at the Home Builders Association says things are definitely looking up. It's a trend that began last September.
If Ben Bernanke is frustrated by the economy, as he seems to be, he might look at a recent issue of The Economist magazine. Editors there see enough strength that they saw fit to print an illustration of Uncle Sam as a bare-chested muscleman.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Let's talk about that and more with regular guests on this program, Zanny Minton Beddoes of The Economist. Welcome back to the program.
ZANNY MINTON BEDDOES: Nice to be here.
INSKEEP: And David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal. Hi, David.
The city of San Bernardino, Calif., is expected to declare a fiscal emergency, and officially file for bankruptcy on Wednesday. The declaration would be the third by a California city in recent weeks. Some analysts believe San Bernardino's problems may be more about its dysfunctional local politics.